It’s been a bit. Partly because I was conquering a huge parenting fear I had and partly because I was preparing mentally and actually. What was the big fear? Taking our first family trip. You might be thinking this is such a silly fear to have. Maybe you have been traveling with your children since they were 3 weeks old or 1 year old. I have not nor did I ever want to. My husband and I have been on VACATIONS. Vacations are without children. We have vacationed together and separately many times since having our children. We have not taken any family TRIPS (trips happen with children) for so many reasons. One, we aren’t gazillionaires and so I always felt like if we were going to spend money to go somewhere else, I would rather go and actually fully enjoy it and relax and not just continue doing all the Mom things in a different location. But mostly, I really was so worried they wouldn’t sleep. If you know me, you know I need sleep. I need like 8 hours of sleep every night. I would have had a ton more children if I knew I would get babies that slept all night starting with night 1 but that doesn’t happen. Sleep was my big concern. Would they sleep? Would I have to sleep with them and then I wouldn’t sleep? If they didn’t sleep well, they would be crabby and our trip would suck. SO, we didn’t go anywhere with them overnight.
They didn’t even have their first night away from our home until a few months ago. Our 5 and 3 year olds have only ever slept in their beds until my brave sister in law said she would have them sleepover to prepare for our trip. They slept from 10:00pm-3:00am. Shit. I was even more terrified then. We practiced again by taking them to our first family sleepover at the waterpark hotel and everyone slept from 9:00-6:30 except me who slept from 3:00am-6:30 thanks for my husband’s snoring which didn’t bother anyone but me. Go figure. See where my fear is coming from??? Perhaps, I am the one with sleeping issues…
So anyways, off we went to the lovely and warm Puerto Rico. The kids did amazingly well on the almost 6 hour flight there thanks to the snow. Snacks, iPads, books and coloring books did the trick. Our three year old lived his best life on the airplane and still says he misses it because who doesn’t like 1000 snacks and 4 hours of iPad time. Once we got through the first night of overtired and crabby kids and we all (well, not me, but that’s a different story) got a good night of sleep, the trip exceeded any and all expectations I had and, even for a few moments, felt like a vacation. The all day cocktails and sunshine definitely helped.
In hindsight, I wish we would have taken our kids sooner, but I also know that the reason it went so well is because we did wait until they were a little older, more independent and I had enough hope and faith that they could sleep well and if not, they are both old enough for me to slip them a natural sleep promoter. The freedom of conquering a fear is so freeing and powerful. Our fears are always worse than the reality and so when we push through the fear and it goes better than we imagined, we can use that knowledge the next time we feel fearful to help encourage us to keep pushing through. It’s a very powerful positive cycle.
Now back to reality as I type this while my son is in tumbling. At least it’s going to be a balmy 40 degrees and sunny here today.